The Gospel accounts of the Resurrection are stunning in their detail and in their relevance to the Church today. The women, faithful at the cross while all of the men (save John) scattered, were the first to receive the vision of the Resurrected Christ, the Good News. The men were dubious when told the women’s tale. (Nothing’s changed!)
The men run to the tomb. The more youthful John outruns the middle-aged Peter. However, when John arrives at the tomb, he stops and waits for Peter. When Peter arrives, John continues to show deference to the one Jesus gave the Keys to the Kingdom. He waits for Peter to enter first. What happens next is beautiful. Young John sees and believes. Peter is somewhat befuddled.
Youth sees with the eyes of love, and lives in great hope. With age comes a bit of cynicism (realism to the cynic). With age comes the accumulated effects of disappointment, of suffering, of treachery’s sting. Peter could be forgiven a degree of calculation of all the possibilities. Say what we will about Peter. Yes, we remember Peter walking out to Jesus on the water and losing faith and sinking. We must also remember that he was the only Apostle with enough faith to get out of the boat at all!
So it is today with young movements within the Church, such as the pro-life movement. Light and fleet afoot, we have a tendency in our youthful zeal to outrun the Bishops, who seem plodding by comparison. We see, and believe! But as with John, we must wait at the entrance to the tomb for Peter, slower and perhaps more deliberative than we are. We must wait in deference to that authority which Jesus gives to them, lest we outrun that authority.
Lest we outrun Jesus’ Holy Will itself.
Guided and sealed by the Holy Spirit, the Bishops are never far behind, and never wrong. Such is their charism. So today we rejoice as one family. Today we lay all of our battles and burdens at the Altar of God where, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the sacrificial death of Jesus (which stands outside of our time and in eternity) immolates them all. Through His Resurrection, we are assured of the final victory over sin, of our own victory over death.
We have nothing left to fear.